If last year the focus was on chatbots, in 2017 we must take a careful look at Artificial Intelligence – AI for short – especially in the field of marketing.
What is AI?
AI is a scientific branch that aims to reproduce human behaviors and cognitive intelligence thanks to computer science. Supposedly, automated tasks would overall improve people’s lives and allow them more freedom, since they will not have to deal with the “technical” aspects of their daily “chores”.
To give an example, AI is what make Tom Cruise so efficient at his job in Minority Report.
Other (real-life) examples of AI include:
- IBM Watson, the (very) smart voice recognition program from IBM’s DeepQA research project.
- Google’s Self-Driving Car, which, even though is not commercialized yet, is making great improvement in terms of AI
- Writing-Bots, available for anyone, and especially very useful for news websites, and content marketers.
Overall, from writing skills to driving skills, through vocal recognition and many others, Artificial Intelligence will impact the world more than Internet and robots combined. Why? Because if Big Data and Robots had a child it would be AI.
What is AIM?
Basically, the automation of marketing. Imagine not having to wait for weeks before being able to collect all the necessary data. Oh, right, sorry. This already exists. But now, imagine having someone analyse it for you so fast, so accurately, and without any default. What would you say?
AI has been created to help people. Businesses provide products and services. Why shouldn’t they ally with AI in order to provide the best services and the highest quality products possible?
For marketers, AI represents a fantastic opportunity to make better decision, to automate their jobs, to be better at targeting and reaching customers. But it also represents important threats.
AI is going to disrupt Marketing…
Accessing enormous amounts of data, and enabling computers to take their own decisions regarding strong marketing strategies clearly states that AI will help marketers get their jobs done.
However, since AI, by its very use and data consumption, is becoming more and more intelligent, it is very likely that AI will, at some point, ban some form of marketing.
Imagine an ads program that knows it will encounters 50% of ad blocking on its way to deliver banners and popup. It’s pretty sure that the AI will forbid the launch of the campaign, because it will be a waste of money, and the AI will be set up to never be losing money on any operations. Now imagine, you are about to click “send” on a emailing campaigns, but the AI knows that less than 5% of your 100,000 targeted people will open this email… this time it will not even let you send the email.
But AI will also be the best marketers’ ally!
Indeed, by knowing exactly what, when, and where people want to buy something, it can deliver the product (or at least its information) at the exact moment where the percentage of conversion is the highest.
Marketing AI will recognize patterns of all users buying on a given store and will be able to predict the next 10, 100, 1000 buying customers. So the AI can go get them, and repeat the operations. The war between companies owning AI and the ones who won’t will be fierce. It can be compared to a brick and mortar store trying to conquer the world without using the Internet.
Same goes for Marketers, the ones who won’t be able to build, train, and master AI tools will be left behind. Because even the smartest strategists or best copywriters in the world will not own 1% of all the data the AI will have and and will use to make its choices.
A second thought on how AI will improve marketing has been raised here. AI not only will help marketers greatly improve their data mining, but may also strengthen their communication skills, and allow easier interactions with potential clients.
Basically, what you search for on the Internet, or any digital information you leave behind you is another demonstration of your interests, and ultimately, your personality. Being able to interpret all of this data is key to successful marketing, and commerce in general.
AI will destroy many jobs in industries that don’t see it coming
Do you feel like making any predictions about AI or marketing? Here is mine: you will not see it coming (unless you are reading this article). Who would have guessed that AI can win a Poker Championship, where the main skill is bluff.
Overall, industries will be strongly disrupted by a sudden change in their employee’s daily tools. As the Darwin law states it, some people will adapt, some won’t; and eventually, some companies will survive, and others won’t.
2017 is already prone to strong changes in AI. It is only a question of time until marketing, and commerce in general, becomes even more dynamic, and productive than ever.
Marketers have always been a category of fast moving individuals. I hope and think it will continue to be the case, because this time being the best one in the room will not be enough. Marketers will need to work with AI and master its use, because it won’t be possible to be against it, otherwise…